5 Formula 1

Carlos Sainz delivered a strong qualifying in Melbourne. © ANSA / JOEL CARRETT

Appendix patient Sainz is back on track

After a break due to an appendectomy, Carlos Sainz returned to his Ferrari racing car in Melbourne (AUS). With success, because in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix the Spaniard only had to admit defeat to series winner Max Verstappen.

World champion Max Verstappen has taken pole position for the Australian GP in Melbourne. For the Dutchman in the Red Bull, it is the third pole this season in as many races. Verstappen was 0,270 seconds faster than challenger Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari on Saturday. Sergio Perez (+0,359) came third in the second Red Bull. Lewis Hamilton missed the final qualifying segment Q3 and only came in eleventh place.

“A bit unexpected today,” said Verstappen, who was happy with the performance in Q3. “Both laps felt very good. It’s been a bit of a difficult weekend so far.”

Max Verstappen took first place on the grid in Melbourne. © APA/afp / PAUL CROCK

Sainz was recently absent from Saudi Arabia due to appendicitis, which had to be treated surgically. “It's been a tough few weeks, I lay in bed for many days waiting to be here today,” said the Spaniard.

“Yesterday I was a bit rusty, but I feel good with the car. “I’m not going to lie, I don’t feel particularly comfortable riding out there, but I can do it,” added Sainz, whose teammate Charles Leclerc couldn’t get past fifth place. 5th place went to Lando Norris in the McLaren.


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